Top 10 Things to Do in Bora Bora
Marvelous mountains, a mesmerizing lagoon, and over a hundred islands draw tourists to this French territory in the South Pacific Ocean. When will you travel to French Polynesia and visit the breathtaking island of Bora Bora?
Bora Bora is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Honeymooners will instantly fall in love with St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, Le Méridien Bora Bora, and InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa. Meanwhile, families will easily feel at home in the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora and Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. Once you settle in, it’s time to explore all the unmissable Bora Bora activities.
Whether you want to explore Bora Bora by private boat, 4 x 4 jeep, or helicopter, here are the top 10 activities you should try in Bora Bora for an unforgettable French Polynesia trip.
Matira Beach – As one of the only public access beaches in Bora Bora, Matira Beach is a popular destination for outdoor activities and sightseeing tours. Whether you’re after water activities or island adventures, you won’t be disappointed with the crystal clear water and soft sand at Matira Beach. Since the shores are close to luxury hotels, resorts, shops, and eateries, there are plenty of activities you can do along the beach. The shoreline is rarely crowded, so it’s a great place to relax. If you want to spend a whole day there, we recommend choosing from Bora Bora private tours instead of joining group tours. If you don’t have time to stay all day at the beach, go for the sunsets. Matira Beach is about 4 miles south of Vaitape, and you can get there by bicycle or taxi. You can also drive there. Parking is available.
Mount Otemanu – At the center of the island, Mount Otemanu is one of two extinct volcanoes, rising 2,400 feet above the lagoon. Fanatics of outdoor activities will enjoy adventure tours to the top of this breathtaking mountain. If hiking doesn’t appeal to you, you can enjoy Mount Otemanu via a 4×4 Jeep tour, a boat tour, a helicopter tour, or even by taking photos of it from the beach or during your Bora Bora lagoon cruise. If you take a 4×4 Jeep tour, you can reach the top of the mountain faster than hikers. Be sure to check the weather before booking your tour. Most tour operators offer Mount Otemanu excursion packages via their websites, including transportation to and from your hotel. Your hotel’s concierge can also make reservations and offer recommendations on the best sightseeing tours, day tours, and adventure tours.
4×4 Excursions – To explore the island via customizable 4×4 Jeep tours, multiple tour companies offer these excursions, such as Vavau 4×4 Adventures, Natura Discovery, and Tupuna Safari. On sightseeing tours, you’ll learn about Bora Bora island’s history and culture, as well as island legends. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing ride or a wild adventure, there are tours that appeal to nearly all travelers. Private tours range from half-day cultural island expeditions, to romantic sunset tours, to safari jungle treks. The tour guides are English-speaking locals who willingly share island secrets. The island views are stunning, so remember to bring your camera. Keep in mind that the roads are bumpy, hilly, and sometimes muddy. Most tour companies pick travelers up directly from their hotels or have centrally located pickup spots.
Coral Gardens – This gorgeous coral reef is located on an islet east of the main island across from the Sofitel Marara. The reef isn’t too far below the water, so all you need are snorkeling goggles (or a glass bottom boat) to view the array of colorful fish. The beaches consist of coral and not sand, so it gets a bit rocky. We suggest bringing water shoes or aqua socks to safely enjoy fantastic water activities. The Coral Gardens are an extremely popular destination, so expect to find crowds here. To reach the Coral Gardens, Tahiti Tourism suggests several tour operators near the Bora Bora Lagoonarium. You can get to the reef via a 5-minute boat ride or a 20-minute swim. You may also book online and select from an array of private tours that fit your Bora Bora itinerary.
Vaitape – Vaitape is a great jump off point for popular Bora Bora water activities and sightseeing tours. In Bora Bora’s main town, you’ll find a variety of eateries and boutiques along its central corridor. Vaitape also has a tourist office, gas stations, and a medical center. If you’re looking for upscale souvenirs, visit Sibani Perle for exquisite black pearl jewelry. There are also many other stores selling less expensive souvenirs. Try local cuisine at Bloody Mary’s restaurant and bar or Restaurant St. James. For seaside dining, book a private table at the Bora Bora Yacht Club. Depending on where you’re staying, you can reach Vaitape by taxi, bicycle, or Le Truck bus.
Boat Tours – Whether it’s sailboat, glass-bottom boat, private speed boat, kayak, or jet ski, Bora Bora has it all. Tour packages are customizable for each guest, including everything from half-day to full-day tours and private or public programs. Deep-sea fishing, lagoon snorkeling, and animal feeding can be added to most itineraries. Some boat tours also include full meals. Lagoon Service, Moana Adventure Tours, and Bora Bora Photo Lagoon are a few private tour companies offering island explorations by sea. During the boat tour, you’ll visit the island’s hidden lagoons and coves, and learn about Bora Bora’s history, including how it became a part of French Polynesia. Most tour companies include pickup to and drop-off from hotels in the package price.
Shark/Stingray Feeding – Private tour companies, such as Moana Adventure Tours and Reef Discovery, offer shark and stingray feeding adventures. You can interact with native blacktip reef sharks and stingrays in their natural habitats. There’s lots of fun, family-friendly water activities that allow you to explore Bora Bora’s nearby ocean floor. If you’re uncomfortable feeding the stingrays and sharks, you can still enjoy snorkeling among the reefs. Be sure to check the weather before booking a tour because some activities get canceled due to rain.
Bora Bora Lagoonarium – Located east of the main island, this natural aquarium is part of the lagoon. At this private, family-owned attraction, you can snorkel under guided supervision. Beneath Bora lagoon’s surface, you’ll see sharks, turtles, rays, and many other types of marine life. Depending on the length and time of day of your tour, you’ll get a variety of other perks like a boat tour of the island or a barbeque picnic. The lagoon is a great place for all ages to get up close and personal with Bora Bora’s marine life.
Fishing – Bora Bora offers excellent boat or fishing tours year-round. In most fishing trips and tours, you can catch Pacific blue marlin, mahi-mahi, wahoo, skipjack tuna, yellowfin tuna, trevally, jack, and barracuda. If you join a local fishing expert on his/her boat, you can choose shallow water, deep sea, or bottom fishing. The calm waters of Bora Bora’s lagoon also makes it an ideal fishing destination. Most boat tours include private fishing activities that accommodate two to six people.
Parasailing – To experience a feeling of freedom in Bora Bora, try parasailing, and soar over the lagoon. Most hotels provide a private shuttle service to Vaitape where a complimentary taxi takes you to the dock. If this service is not offered, ask your hotel’s concierge for help in booking private tours. Parasailing is offered to adults and children, 10 and over.
How to Get to Bora Bora
Fly to Tahiti (PPT), French Polynesia’s only international airport, on board first class or business class flights for the Bora Bora vacation you’ve always dreamed of! We find reduced rates on luxury flights to Bora Bora and excellent deals on Bora Bora’s upscale hotels. If you came to explore tropical French Polynesia, book your trip between November and April. Many visitors choose Bora Bora for its sun, sand, and aquatic treasures, yet most of them linger for the fabulous hotels and resorts.